Anish Kapoor

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) presents the first major exhibition in Australia of Mumbai born, London-based artist Anish Kapoor.

Art Exhibition previously on at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in The Rocks precinct, New South Wales, Australia.
From Thursday 20 December 2012 to Monday 01 April 2013

Memory image Anish Kapoor image Anish Kapoor  image Between Shit and Architecture image Between Shit and Architecture image Memory image S-Curve image My Red Homeland image Void image Void image 1000 Names image

Published by M.C.A. on Monday 06 August 2012.
Contact the publisher.

Anish Kapoor is one of the most celebrated artists working today and has created some of the world’s most ambitious and recognisable contemporary artworks.

This unique exhibition, which is the first major presentation of the artist’s work in Australia, includes works from the early stages of Kapoor’s career to the present day. It explores the artist’s continual experimentation across a variety of materials including clay, plastic, pigment, steel and wax to create works of great visual power and emotional impact.

Highlights include one of the artist’s most ambitious works for a gallery, Memory (2008), commissioned by Deutsche Bank in consultation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the Deutsche Guggenheim. In the work’s first presentation in the Southern Hemisphere, Memory completely fills the MCA’s spacious Level 3 Gallery as if squeezed between the white walls. Viewers experience the rust-coloured bulbous structure from several angles including a window that looks into the cavernous interior space. By restricting the ability to view the whole work from a single point, Kapoor challenges the public to imagine the object in its entirety by piecing together memories of the work from different locations.

The exhibition also comprises a selection of the early works that first brought Anish Kapoor to prominence. Created following a short trip to India, 1000 Names (1979–80) consists of primary coloured geometric forms produced using brightly coloured powdered pigments placed on the floor or situated on the wall.

Another highlight is Void (1989), a large concave shape coated in a deep blue pigment that toys with perception. The shape changes from a convex to a concave form depending on where the viewer is situated, whilst the colour of the piece disrupts the ability to determine the object’s true proportions.

The MCA’s vast Level 1 North Gallery is the ideal setting for the enormous wax sculpture My Red Homeland (2003). In this monumental circular sculpture, a large motorised steel blade slowly cuts a course through 25 tons of wax and Vaseline mixed with a deep red pigment. Over the period of an hour the blade traces the circumference of the structure, which measures 12 metres in diameter, endlessly dissecting and re-shaping the wax into new forms. Drawing associations with organic material such as blood, My Red Homeland stimulates not only an emotional but also a physical response.

Anish Kapoor said: “I am delighted that the MCA will be presenting the first major exhibition of my work in Australia. The show includes a wide range of work including examples of my more recent sculpture which I hope will be of interest to new audiences."

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor said: “I am so pleased that Anish has accepted our invitation to make a major exhibition for Sydney. We are looking forward to working closely with him to bring a number of his extraordinary works to audiences in Australia.”

This major solo exhibition spread across two floors of the MCA is part of the Sydney International Art Series, bringing the world’s outstanding exhibitions to Australia. It has been made possible with the support of the NSW Government through Destination NSW.

As part of his visit to Sydney for the opening, Anish Kapoor will present the Ann Lewis AO Contemporary Visual Arts International Address, supported through the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts.


Anish Kapoor was born on 12 March 1954 in Mumbai (Bombay). He moved to London in the early 1970s where he has lived and worked ever since. He studied art at Hornsey College of Art (1973-1977) and at Chelsea School of Art (1977-1978). His first solo exhibition was held at Patrice Alexandre in Paris in 1980. He quickly gained international attention and acclaim for a series of solo exhibitions at venues including: Tate Gallery, London (1990-01); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2003); Fondazione Prada, Milano (1995); Hayward Gallery, London (1998); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (1999); Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples (1999); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2003); MAC Grand-Hornu, Belgium (2004); Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004); Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin (2008) MAK, Vienna (2009); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2009); Pinchuk Arts Centre, Kiev (2010); and Guggenheim Bilbao (2010).

His major solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (26 September – 11 December 2010) was the most successful ever presented by a contemporary artist in London. He has participated in many group shows internationally including those at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and Serpentine Gallery in London, Documenta IX in Kassel, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Jeu de Paume and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He represented Britain at the Paris Biennale in 1982 and at the Venice Biennale in 1990, where he was awarded the ‘Premio Duemila’. He won the Turner Prize in 1991 and he received the prestigious Unilever Commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in 2002, which he realised with the much-acclaimed work, Marsyas. In 2011 his specially commissioned work Leviathan was unveiled in the nave of the Grand Palais in Paris in the Monumenta series.

Throughout his career he has worked extensively with architects and engineers on projects including Tees Valley Giants, a series of five large-scale sculptures created in collaboration with the leading structural engineer, Cecil Balmond. He created the site-specific work, The Farm for the outdoor art gallery of the same name in Kaipara Bay, north of Auckland, New Zealand. Among his major permanent commissions is Cloud Gate (2004) for the Millennium Park in Chicago, considered to be the most popular public artwork in the world. His commissioned permanent artwork ArcelorMittal Orbit is the London 2012 Olympics monument. He was elected Royal Academician in 1999 and has been awarded Honorary Fellowships by the London Institute and Leeds University (1997), University of Wolverhampton (1999) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (2001). He was awarded a CBE in 2003.

He is represented by the Lisson Gallery, London; Gladstone Gallery, New York; Kukje Gallery, Seoul, and Galleria Continua and Galleria Massimo Minini in Italy.


The 2012–13 Sydney International Art Series features Anish Kapoor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Francis Bacon: Five decades at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Sydney International Art Series is one of five signature events on the Destination NSW Calendar which features a range of vibrant arts events and exhibitions exclusive to Sydney.

Tickets for the Sydney International Art Series 2012–13 are on sale from 25 July 2012. A special Sydney International Art Pass is also available and provides discounted entry to both exhibitions. All tickets are available via